Teifi Valley Motor Club Limited - TVMC

WAMC Newsletter

Thursday 10 Oct 2013 [19:40]
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LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON?

As Elfyn Evans sets about establishing himself in the World Rally Championship, this season has seen another son of a former British Rally Champion take his first steps in the sport. When Gwyndaf Evans won the Championship in 1996 he was following in the footsteps of his friend and rival David Llewellin who had taken the title in 1989 and 1990. Now David's son, Ben is coming to the end of his first season in the sport.

It's not Ben's first taste of motorsport, he has previously shared a car with his father to compete in hill climbs such as Llys y Fran and Epynt but his move into rallying came about by chance, as he explains, "My Dad competed in the Neath Valley Stages last year driving the car of Jonathan Brace of Braces Bread. He offered the car to my dad to drive this season and my dad didn't fancy it. He prefers just doing the odd event here and there, so Jonathan offered the sponsorship to me then to run a car for me this season.

In this issue:

We find out which former British Champion makes a terrible passenger.

Is Class N3 the right route for young drivers?

How does it feel to win your first International event?

All the latest WAMC Championship news

Upcoming Events:

Curborough Sprint

(Long Track) Oct 5th

Peter Lloyd

Stages Oct 13th

Cambrian Rally Oct 19th

We find out which former British Champion makes a terrible passenger.

Is Class N3 the right route for young drivers?

How does it feel to win your first International event?

All the latest WAMC Championship news

Upcoming Events:

Curborough Sprint

(Long Track) Oct 5th

Peter Lloyd

Stages Oct 13th

Cambrian Rally Oct 19th

So in January Ben successfully completed his BARS course and was all set to make his rallying debut on the Red Kite Stages only for the event to be postponed due to snow. His first event, therefore, was the Wyedean Stages which he approached in the knowledge that some people might be expecting a little extra from him. "I knew people would think I had big

Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship

The championship will now go to the final round in North Wales, The Cambrian Rally, to be decided.

Alex Allingham double championship winner in 2010 & 2011 is the new championship leader after the recent Woodpecker Rally. Alex replaces North Walian Luke Francis who had led the championship since March, Luke is currently second, but it is Connor McCloskey who is firm favourite.

McCloskey, who had to rebuild his Subaru WRC after a heavy roll on the Nicky Grist Stages, came back in fine style to win the Woodpecker by two seconds taking his fourth maximum point haul. He will be looking for the perfect score on the last round.

In the categories, the Group N title may well go to a tie decider between Luke Francis and Alex Allingham. In Two Wheel Drive Rob Dennis has the points advantage over David Lloyd Roberts in a battle of Escorts.

The Under 25's has been decided with Luke Francis declared the winner after the Woodpecker Rally.

Under 25 contenders who registered in the Bob Francis Crane Hire Junior Programme were recently invited to attend a training day in Sweet Lamb. Tutors for the day included Welsh rallying legends Gwyndaf Evans and Geoff Jones on hand to give advice on driving skills, car set up and some invaluable in car one to one advice.

A good attendance of Co Drivers also received guidance from Co Driver and Ralio presenter Howard Davies with Dale Furniss fresh from his excellent win on the recent Ulster Rally. Peter Hughes provided advice on maintaining the correct media presence and how to attract and retain sponsors.

boots to fill so it was hard going into the first event but basically I just tried to forget all that side of it and just drive my own rally and have a go." The strategy certainly paid off as he climbed into the top 10 overall before breaking a TCA on stage 6.

You might think that having a former double British Champion as your father would mean you have an obvious choice of rally instructor but it seems that isn't always the case, "He's not the best of passengers so I've only managed get him in the car once or twice when testing" Ben explains, "and I ended up going too fast for him so he said to stop for him to get out. He does watch back the in-car with me after the event and we do discuss it and go though a few points but he doesn't like coming in the car with me."

Things have gone from strength to strength since the Wyedean even if, as Ben says, the Escort isn't the obvious choice of car for rallying beginner. "It isn't the ideal car because the way the BRC is it's all front wheel drive cars now and all modern so if I wanted to go down that path I really need to go for front wheel drive and enter the British Championship but for having a bit of fun you can't beat the mark 2 Escort."

He insists, however, that a career in rallying is not currently on his agenda, saying, "At the minute it's just a bit of a hobby, have a bit of fun and see what comes about through contacts and see what links come about through having a bit of fun and see what paths I can go down."

Rallying certainly isn't the only sport in Ben's life. He has recently been selected to represent Wales in the European and World shooting championships but he acknowledges that his father's success behind the wheel can be a source of inspiration, "I do look back at old videos and on YouTube and seeing his success makes you hungry for it as well. It does give me that ambition to do well."

And for those hoping to follow him into the sport he has some very clear advice, "Just have fun because if you are doing rally after rally and not enjoying it it's not the same as if you're doing a rally and enjoying it and having a good laugh with your mechanics and your co-driver."

For someone treating it as just a hobby, Ben seems to have both the attitude and the ability to uphold the family honour.

N3 IS THE PLACE TO BE

So you've started your rallying career. Perhaps you've done the Formula 1000 junior championship. Maybe you've tackled the BTRDA Rally First series.

In Car Services Welsh Clubman's 2wd Forest Rally

The Woodpecker Stages organised by Sixty & Worcestershire Motor Club hosted the penultimate round of the In car Services Welsh Clubman's 2WD Forest Rally Championship on Saturday 31st August 2013 when a total of 29 Championship Contenders participated in the event.

Current Championship Positions taking into account that some Championship Contenders are now dropping their lowest score. The best 4 scores from 6 count.

The following Championship Awards have provisionally been won

Overall Driver Dylan Davies Dylan Davies

FWD Driver Thomas Lloyd Thomas Lloyd

FWD Co-Driver Rob Leeman Rob Leeman

Class 2 Co-Driver Ian Jones

Class 4 Driver Colin Webb

Class 4 Co-Driver Matt Rogers

Class 4 2nd Driver David Jones

Class 4 2nd Co-Driver Glynn Price Glyn Price

Class 6 Driver David Ll Roberts David Lloyd

Under 25 Driver Dylan Davies

Under 25 Co-Driver Chris Davies

Senior Driver Terry Brown

Senior Co-Driver Don James

The remaining awards will be decided at the Cambrian Rally on October 19th.

Where do you go next? There is no shortage of options but how do you make sure you're going to get the right experience, competing against the right standard of opposition and at a price that won't break the bank?

Don James

Brian Dennis Motorsport Welsh Historic Rally Championship

With two rounds of the championship remaining, Roger Matthews heads the driver standings by a single point from David Lloyd Roberts. Ken Davies is in third place.

One up and coming young Welsh driver believes that he has found the answer. Lampeter based driver Cameron Davies together with co-driver Michael Gilbey has opted this year to tackle the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship in a Class N3 Ford Fiesta. It's a class that has already been identified by the championship organisers as a valuable one in terms of developing drivers and Cameron views it as an ideal step on his route to the British Rally Championship.

Alan Jones tops the co-drivers' table, four points ahead of Paul James while Phil Harrison lies in third place. The next round of the Championship is the Peter Lloyd Stages at Pembrey on October 13th.

He believes, too, that the M-Sport built Fiesta is the ideal machine in which to contest it. "It's a really sorted rally car", he explains, "It feels like a proper rally car even though it's a group N showroom spec car. The 5- speed dog box gives you a great feeling along with the LSD in it. It's got 2 way Reiger two way adjustable suspension. It's got all the bits you need in a proper rally car without the massive cost of having all the uprated bits."

Co-driver Michael Gilbey also agrees with this view, explaining, "It does all the things you'd expect a rally car to do. It's not like a road car with some fancy things bolted on it. It feels like a proper rally car. It's got a fantastic roll cage which keeps my parents happy when I'm in it. It's a lovely feeling. You feel like you are in as good as a world car."

Of course, any time the name of a major car builder such as Prodrive, or in this case M-Sport, is involved there will be a tendency to assume that the cost of buying and running it will be high. Cameron says that in this case, however, it's not as costly as you might expect. "To buy the car outright will probably cost around ten thousand pounds but the running costs are fairly cheap. Even though it has to run to FIA homologation you can still buy local motor factor parts such as wishbones or ball joints, which brings the cost down dramatically."

The lower power output of an N3 machine also means that the cost of tyres is lower than for many cars with Cameron saying that a set of tyres should be good for up to one and a half events.

The Welsh Championship introduced a separate N3 class for the first time this season and three crews have registered. While Cameron leads the class, Simon Dalton from Hereford and Brixham's Dan Wakefield have also competed in Ford Fiestas and, alongside their junior training programme, the championship organisers are keen to build on this, making N3 a development class for young drivers.

Meanwhile Cameron and Michael are already thinking about the next step in their rally careers. "This year has been a big learning curve." says Cameron, "I'd hope to move into the BRC in an R2 if the budget is there but if not, in an R1." adding, "The Fiesta is quite similar to an R2 but with

Steve Harkness Competition Tyres Welsh Tarmacadam Rally Championship

Following the Mewla Rally, Richard Merriman has extended his lead over Bob Fowden to 14 points with Ian Kenvin a further two points back.

Cath Curzon heads the co-driver standings by 16 points with Jenny Evans and Ian Meakin tied for second place.

The closest class battle is in Class 2 with Richard Bliss just three points ahead of Dale Clatworthy.

The next round of the Championship is the Peter Lloyd Stages at Pembrey on October 13th.

Road Rally Championship supported by The Basic Roamer Company

With two rounds of the Championship to go, Ian 'Dude' Roberts held a two point advantage over Mark 'GT' Roberts. William Mains continues to lead the semi-expert category while Andrew Lane remains best of the novices.

The navigators' categories are headed by Gwawr Hughes, Cadog Davies and Jason Murphy respectively.

The final round of the Championship is the Powys Lanes Rally on 2/3 November.

Trident Engineering Welsh Speed and Hillclimb Championship

Following the Wiscombe Park Hill Climb, Roger Turner has taken the Championship lead with Elen Worthington in second place. Tony Barber is third

The next round of the Championship is a sprint on the long track at Curborough on 5th October.

less than half the cost."

If you would like to find out more about the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship's plans for Class N3 and for young driver development in general during the 2014 season you can contact Championship Coordinator David Evison on 07970 010770.

HARD WORK BRINGS ITS REWARDS

It's fair to say it's been a good year for Welsh motorsport with success for competitors on the track and in rallying. One of the more recent achievements was the outright victory for Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss on Rally Northern Ireland.

Just days afterwards, Dale was at Sweet Lamb to offer words of advice and encouragement to young competitors taking part in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship's junior training programme. While he was there he spoke to Motorsport Wales about his career to date and it was clear just what the victory meant to him. "It's a very special feeling." He explained, "It was my first time over in Ulster and my first season in the BRC so to get it so soon it's a brilliant feeling."

It seems that rallying runs in the Furniss family blood with Dale being immersed in the sport from an early age. "Through my family I grew up with road rallying", he recalls, "my granddad, my father, all the family really so I just took part in the local road rallies and did a few years in that and won the Welsh championship three times so it all started from there"

Dale has not doubts either that his years in road rallying were the ideal apprenticeship in the sport. "It makes you really aware of all different types of situation and the map reading", he explains, "so pretty much after you've done the road rallying you're ready for pretty much any situation

Welsh Club Championship

Teifi Valley continue to lead the Championship on 291 points. Swansea Motor Club have moved up into second place on 224 points ahead of Lampeter and District on 221 points.

Road Rally Competitors and Organisers Please Note This

The organisers of the Road Rally Championship in Association with the Basic Roamer Company have issued the following important notice to all road rally competitors:

We are increasingly concerned at the driving behaviour of some competitors at manned controls. Arriving at a control at high speed with locked brakes can put the marshal at great risk. If the competing car also has headlight main beam and spot lights illuminated, this increases the risk as it impairs the vision of the marshal.

R 9.2.1. Any control is considered to extend for 50m around the actual point at which Officials are making their records, unless clearly visible signs are displayed to define a different area.

Any control is considered to extend for 50m around the actual point at which Officials are making their records, unless clearly visible signs are displayed to define a different area.

We therefore require this to be highlighted at the Drivers Briefing before the start of each event and to remind drivers that Driving Standards Observers will be present at some controls to ensure the following:

1. Dip lights and extinguish spots at the 50m Board.

2. Reduce speed so that you can stop at the marshal's location without locking wheels.

3. Leave the marshal's location only when the marshal is clear of the car.

Please observe these instructions as they are intended to ensure the safety of marshals. Failure to comply may result in penalties being applied as per R8.4

you might get in stage rallying."

The move to stage rallying came almost by chance, courtesy of Mick Jones. "He's in the same club and I think he just wanted to do the Swansea Bay Rally" says Dale, "and because he's the old fashioned type he wanted to do it on maps not notes. So he said 'can I have someone from the club who can do map reading. I want to take someone young', so I was called up. We only lasted two stages but it was good to get into road books and things."

From there, Dale built up his co-driving experience until at the start of this year he decided he was ready to take the next step. "I wanted to do the British Championship. I knew Osian, I live not far away from him, so I approached him to see if he was looking for a co-driver and it went from there really."

There can be few relationships in sport closer than that between a driver and co-driver and it is one that appears to work well in the case of Osian and Dale as the young co-driver says, "You've got to get on with each other. It helps we are similar and we enjoy it as well as getting down to business when we need to." But it may also have something to do with the effort they have put into it. "You've got to put a lot of work in. We did a few test events to get used to each other and we did a lot of work in between events on the normal roads and the forests around home just getting used to each other."

Dale was keen, too, to talk about the junior training programme and the training day at which he spoke to us, saying, "You can't put a price on this for the experience that they've got here today. You can't put a price on experience. To get Sweet Lamb with the drivers that they've got to sit in, it's invaluable. Everyone should come here really."

He also says that the key to success for anyone entering the sport is down to the effort that they are prepared to put in, "You've got to be keen really." he says, "That's what most people are looking for and when you're really, really keen you will do well because you want to do well. Just work hard at it and if you want it you'll get it.

Judging by Dale's own progress in the sport to date, that is a recipe for success.

2014 Welsh Championship Launch

The Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells will be the place to be on Saturday November 30th when all the WAMC championships for next year will be launched. Whether it's rallying that you are interested in, stage or

If you have any club news that you would like included in future editions of Motorsport Wales please e-mail it to phmr@btinternet.com

Whether you are competing, marshalling or spectating, enjoy your sport and watch out for the next edition of Motorsport Wales.

road, modern or historic, gravel or asphalt, or it's speed events that float your boat, there will be a championship coordinator on hand to tell you all about their plans for 2014. We also look forward to welcoming representatives of as many of next year's championship rounds as possible.

The event takes place from 2pm and will be followed by a forum with the emphasis on road rallying. A number of the major characters from the road rallying scene, present and past, have agreed to come along and entertain us all with tales of their nocturnal exploits.

If you want to make a really special occasion of the day, the Association has negotiated a special rate for rooms at the Metropole on the Saturday night. For more information contact Jimmy Jones at jimmyjones@homemail.com.

STOP PRESS

Wales Rally GB Drive for Championship Winner

The Organisers of Wales Rally GB have just announced that, as part of their Road to Wales initiative, they will offer a free of charge Wales Rally GB National Two Day entry to the winner of the 2013 Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship.

Welcoming the news, championship co-ordinator David Evison said, "It's great that our Championship has received this recognition as a pathway to bigger things. The Championship race is going down to the wire and this news means that there is now even more at stake on the Cambrian Rally."

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